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Child Care Workers Have Been Fighting For The Right To Bargain For Years. They May Be About To Get It

5d7c3924c92b3500089d0e0a-eight.jpgTonia McMillian takes care of children at her home day care center in Bellflower. (Courtesy of Tonia McMillian)

Both arms of the California legislature have passed AB 378, a bill that, if signed into law, would allow some child care workers who serve low-income kids the ability to collectively bargain with the state over things like their reimbursement rates.

“AB 378 remains committed to stabilizing those who educate our earliest learners and the families who seek care for their families as they remain in the workforce,” Assemblymember Monique Limón said when introducing the bill for its final vote Friday afternoon.

Now, the future of those workers’ ability to bargain with the state is in Governor Gavin Newsom’s hands.

Organizers say it’s been a long time coming.

Despite similar bills in previous legislatures, the effort has yet to make it past a governor’s desk. Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown both vetoed similar bills.

But supporters are hopeful this time around, in part because Newsom campaigned on his support for early childhood education.

“I don’t want to jinx it, but in the 16 years that we’ve been doing this, we’ve never felt this good before,” said Mary Gutierrez, strategic campaigns director with SEIU California. The SEIU, which has been helping to organize the workers, also co-sponsored the bill.

Newsom has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto bills.

Here’s what you need to know if AB 378 gets signed into law.


The state subsidizes child care for some low-income families. According to the California Senate Appropriations Committee’s analysis of AB 378, those subsidies support care for about 360,000 kids.

But while those in the field recognize the high cost of child care, they say the money they get from the state isn’t enough.

“At the same time parents are struggling to pay their own rent, providers are struggling to pay our own rent and to pay expenses and keep our doors open,” provider Tonia McMillian told KPCC/LAist in December, after Newsom’s election.

McMillian is licensed to care for 14 kids out of her home in Bellflower. She said she loves working with the kids and serving families, but after 25 years it’s taken a toll on her — plus, she said it doesn’t give her retirement benefits or access to affordable health care.

“For providers, like myself, in order for us to make a ‘decent living,’ we have to work literally 80 hours a week in order to make ends meet. And that’s not fair,” McMillian said.

5d7c3920c92b3500089d0e08-eight.jpgGames available for children at Tonia McMillian’s home day care center. (Courtesy of Tonia McMillian)

And as Renaldo B. Sanders, a licensed family childcare provider serving nine children in Compton, pointed out, the money also goes to maintaining her place of business: her home.

“Our homes have to be taken care of — meaning our mortgage paid, our lights, our gas, our utilities — in order to provide our services to our family communities,” she explained.

As Priska Neely explained on LAist after Gavin Newsom’s election:

“Home daycares make up about a third of the total licensed child care supply. They’re usually a more affordable option and are more likely to have slots for infants and toddlers than other child care settings.

The median income for family child care providers is around $12 an hour, and low pay, cuts to subsidies and lack of benefits are causing more and more of the businesses to close.”

In fact, the text of the bill itself recognizes that over half of early educators in the state rely on public assistance.

If signed into law, AB 378 would allow a certain group of child care workers — more on that below — to collectively bargain with the state over things like the reimbursement rates they receive.

The issue has come up several times. Organizers say the effort is over a decade in the making.

This time around the bill AB 378 was dubbed the Building a Better Early Care and Education Act and introduced by Assembly members Monique Limón and Lorena Gonzalez. And it’s going to a governor who has emphasized early childhood education in his campaign, budgets, and staffing.

I am proud to author AB 378 which will give the predominantly female workforce the chance for their voice to be echoed throughout the Capitol halls #ChildCareForAll @SEIU pic.twitter.com/K8ySynqvlj

— Asm. Monique Limón (@AsmMoniqueLimon) February 6, 2019

Organizers point to similar workers in 11 other states, including New York and Minnesota, who can collectively bargain.



The people we’re talking about here are family day-care providers who educate and care for young kids in a daycare set up in their own home, or at the home of the kid they’re taking care of, and who receive money from the state to provide this care for kids from low-income families.

For context: A fact sheet circulated by AB 378’s author Assemblymember Monique Limón says that adds up to about 40,000 child care workers.

Organizers with the SEIU say that most of those affected are women of color.


The nature of the work – which is done at home – can be isolating.

McMillian said she first started looking towards the union because she was looking for community, “which then led me to find out that there were other issues.”

Now, McMillian said, personally, she’s interested in exploring the possibility of a substitute pool, in case she gets sick and needs someone to look over the kids. She’s also interested in a potential career ladder that incentivizes providers to stay in the field.

The bill mentions all sorts of things open to negotiation, including reimbursement rates, professional development and training in supporting bilingual youth, and recruitment.


Gutierrez from SEIU California said the workers could start a conversation about expanding access to child care to more families who struggle to afford it.

McMillian said she sees the opportunity to not just advocate for the workers, but for parents and kids, too.

“It is high time now that we have a seat at the table so that we can bring the reality of this work to the table, have a discussion about it, and be considered a partner and making sure that this child care system, and this glorious state of California, is the best that it can be,” McMillian said.

KPCC/LAist engagement producer Stefanie Ritoper contributed to this report.

Can Joe Biden Remind Democrats What They Saw in Him?

He was second guy for best President in this century but he lost out in two runs for President so, he is an also ran. Voters who waited in lines for hours to vote for President Obama twice, will not sow up for Joe – plain and simple – He’s not the guy! Harris and/or maybe Castro would generate the votes needed to bring USA back from the brink!


Benjamin Wallace-Wells assesses Joe Biden’s campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination so far, and foreshadows how the candidate might perform in the Democratic debates in Houston, which will pit him against Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Drought Has Revealed Spain’s Long-Submerged ‘Stonehenge’

via Telma T.

This summer has been unusually scorching across Europe and beyond, and things have only grown more intense in the already hot and dry region of Extremadura in Spain. Months into an official drought that could be developing into a mega-drought, local farmers are facing the loss of hundreds of millions of euros. Many think this is just a sign of things to come.

Droughts, and the way that they strip the land of plant cover and drain lakes and reservoirs, for all the problems they cause, are often a boon for archaeologists. The water level of the Valdecañas Reservoir in the province of Cáceres has dropped so low that it is providing an extraordinary glimpse into the past.

“All my life, people had told me about the dolmen,” says Angel Castaño, a resident of Peraleda de la Mata, a village just a couple miles from the reservoir, and president of the local cultural association. “I had seen parts of it peeking out from the water before, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in full. It’s spectacular because you can appreciate the entire complex for the first time in decades.”

The dolmen he’s talking about is known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal, the remains of a 7,000-year old megalithic monument consisting of around 100 standing stones—some up to six feet tall—arranged around an oval open space. It takes hours of hiking to get to the dolmen, which is now a few dozen yards away from the edge of the tranquil blue water. Visitors today are more likely to see deer than guards. Traces of aquatic plant life in the sand show that the site is dry and accessible only temporarily.


“When we saw it, we were completely thrilled,” Castaño says. “It felt like we had discovered a megalithic monument ourselves.”

Archaeologists believe the dolmen was likely erected on the banks of the Tagus River in the fifth millennium BC, as a completely enclosed space, like a stone house with a massive cap stone on top. And though it had been known, perhaps even damaged, by the Romans, it had faded beyond memory until German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier led an excavation of the site in the mid-1920s. Obermaier’s work wasn’t published until 1960, but by then the tide of the 20th century was on its way to the ancient site.

In his quest to modernize Spain, Francisco Franco’s regime carried out a number of massive civil engineering projects, including a dam and reservoir that flooded the Dolmen of Guadalperal in 1963. Archaeological studies and environmental impact reports before such projects weren’t regular practice at the time, says Primitiva Bueno Ramirez, a specialist in prehistory at the University of Alcalá. “You couldn’t believe how many authentic archaeological and historic gems are submerged under Spain’s man-made lakes.”


The Valdecañas Reservoir brought water and electricity to underdeveloped parts of western Spain, but that came at a cost. “The flooding was tragic on many levels,” says Castaño. “From the historic point of view, it drowned these megalithic monuments and most of the remains of a Roman city called Augustóbriga. [Portions of the ruins were relocated to a nearby hilltop.] From the human point of view, an inhabited town was flooded and people were forced to move out of their homes.”

As water levels in the reservoir have fluctuated over the years, the tips of the tallest stones sometimes become visible, but it is a rare occurrence—so far—for the entire structure to be high and dry. Dolmens like this one were tombs or sites for ritual—think Stonehenge—and ones like it appear in different cultures all over the world, from Ireland to India to the Korean Peninsula. One of the standout attributes of the Dolmen of Guadalperal is a large stone, or menhir, that marked the entrance. A human figure is engraved on its front, along with a long squiggly line on another face. Scientists believe it is a representation of a snake.


When Castaño, a philologist by trade, saw it, he saw an ancient map of the now-flooded portions of the Tagus River. It’s not a widely accepted theory, but there are similarities between the “squiggle” and the course of the river. If he’s right, it could represent one of the oldest maps ever found. “It was intuition,” he says. “Before the area was flooded, the river had a strange bend that matched where the snake’s head was supposed to be. I rushed to consult an old map of the river, and I realized that the curvy line corresponded nearly 100 percent to the river’s path.”

Bueno, who studied the monument in the 1990s, when the waters were low enough for the top half of the dolmen to emerge, has her doubts. “I appreciate his enthusiasm, but from my archaeological understanding, I would say that the line is geometric and similar to ones found in megalithic art across Europe. In this case, it could be identified as a serpent.” She adds that further studies are needed.


While the Dolmen of Guadalperal has widely been compared to Stonehenge—and rightly so—the Spanish example was once an entirely enclosed space. And it could also be around 2,000 years older.

When it was intact, according to Bueno, people would have entered through a dark, narrow hallway adorned with engravings and other decorations, probably carrying a torch. This would lead to an access portal into the more spacious main chamber, which had a diameter of around 16 feet, where the dead would be laid to rest. It’s also likely that the monument was oriented around the summer solstice, allowing, for just a few moments a year, the sun to shine on the community’s ancestors. Construction of such a large space, with such heavy materials, would have taken a great deal of both effort and ingenuity.


According to Bueno, archaeologists have also found that this region presents some of the earliest evidence of humans making flour (more than 8,000 years ago) and using honey (more than 7,000 years ago). By the third and fourth millennium BC, they were even brewing their own cerveza.

Odd as it might seem for something that is 7,000 years old and made of stone, the fate of the dolmen now depends on Madrid. The granite stones are porous and vulnerable to ongoing erosion. After more than 50 years underwater, some stones that were standing when Obermaier studied them now lie flat, others that were once intact are now cracked. Castaño and his organization are urging the government to move the stones to permanently dry land, but Bueno worries that this could just accelerate the damage, especially if the process is rushed, without extensive study first. And within a month the dolmen could again be swallowed up by the lake.

“Whatever we do here, needs to be done extremely carefully,” Bueno says. “We need high-quality studies using the latest archaeological technology. It may cost money, but we already have one of the most difficult things to obtain—this incredible historic monument. In the end, money is the easy part. The past can’t be bought.”

We Dodged A Bullet

Closing Thought–03Sep19

By “We” I mean the country…..looks like Hurricane Dorian will spare the US this time from a direct hit…….a grazing blow is far better than a direct hit….says a survivor of Katrina.

cone graphic

I wish I could say that the Bahamas were as fortunate as we…..

Then there is the coverage of this storm by the MSM…..we should get very little interaction with this storm and yet the MSM in their disappointment still reports that there is little wind, sparse on rain and storm surge is negligible….but that all should be prepared for the rush of water that will precede the storm….these “reporters” seem to be making up anything that could go wrong and then would make them the star of the show.

Those brave people for the weather channel…where were they when the Bahamas got hit?

But the most disturbing story so far is the one of the American president…..


In what President Trump’s critics are calling “Sharpie-gate” the president delivered a Hurricane Dorian update Wednesday in front of a map that had been doctored to back up his claim that the storm had been expected to hit Alabama. The NOAA forecast map from Aug. 29 had been altered with a Sharpie to include a loop around the state, the BBC reports. When Trump was asked about the change later Wednesday, he said “I don’t know” three times, adding: “I know Alabama was in the original forecast, they thought it would get a piece of it.” White House deputy press secretary J. Hogan Gidley confirmed in a tweet that the map had been altered with a marker, but slammed the media for going “ballistic” over it, the Washington Post reports. White House photos show that Trump was presented with the correct map on Aug. 29.

It’s not clear whether the president himself altered the map, but whoever is responsible may have broken a law against knowingly issuing or publishing “any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau, United States Signal Service, or other branch of the Government service,”which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, Politico reports. Trump’s warning Sunday that Alabama was in Dorian’s path was quickly denied by the National Weather Service, but he has continued to insist, incorrectly, that the storm was widely forecast to hit the state. On Wednesday night, he tweeted an Aug. 28 forecast map that showed a few possible paths including Alabama, saying: “As you can see, almost all models predicted it to go through Florida also hitting Georgia and Alabama. I accept the Fake News apologies!

This from a person that continuously bitches about fake news….and is the greatest spreader of said news.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Trump’s Plan to Host the G-7 Revives the Issue of Emoluments

What I really wonder about is how he and family may be profiting off of advance notice of what he will tweet and the tweet’s probable impact on the market – lots of folks have gone to jail for insider trading!!!


Jeffrey Toobin writes about how Congress and the courts have failed to hold President Trump accountable for the financial gain he has sought while in office.

45 Beautiful Photos of Selena in the Early 1990s

Born 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress, and fashion designer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century.


Billboard magazine named her the top-selling Latin artist of the 1990s decade, while her posthumous collaboration with MAC cosmetics became the best-selling celebrity collection in cosmetics history. Media outlets called her the “Tejano Madonna” for her clothing choices. She also ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all time and is credited for catapulting a music genre into the mainstream market.

Selena and her guitarist, Chris Pérez, eloped in April 1992 after her father raised concerns over their relationship. On March 31, 1995, she was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, her friend and former manager of her Selena Etc. boutiques. Saldívar was cornered by police when she attempted to flee, and threatened to kill herself, but was convinced to give herself up and was sentenced to life in prison with a possible parole after 30 years.

Two weeks later, Future US President George W. Bush—governor of Texas at the time—declared Selena’s birthday Selena Day in Texas. Her posthumous crossover album, Dreaming of You (1995), debuted atop the Billboard 200, making Selena the first Latin artist to accomplish this feat.

In 1997, Warner Bros. released Selena, a film about her life and career, which starred Jennifer Lopez as Selena and Lupe Ontiveros as Saldívar. As of 2015, Selena has sold over 65 million albums worldwide, making her the best-selling female artist in Latin music history.

Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of Selena in the early 1990s.






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رسالة الى الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس من #كلنا إسراء… تدخل قبل ان يسيطر الجن علينا جميعا

رسالة الى الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس من #كلنا إسراء… تدخل قبل ان يسيطر الجن علينا جميعا

سيدي الرئيس ، لن يكون هناك ضرورة للبدء بالسلام والتحيات. ولن ابدأ كلامي بمناشدة ولا باستجداء طالبة منك ان تنقذني لاني اسراء… فاسراء صارت تحن التراب . ولكن لاننا # كلنا إسراء !

سيدي الرئيس ، #كلنا اسراء ليس هاشتاغ كما تراه الآن من اجل التركيز على موضوع قتلت فيه امرأة اخرى . نحن بالفعل اسراء. ما حصل مع اسراء هو ما يحصل معنا نحن معشر الإناث يوميا. نقتل وتكون ديتنا اذا ما كان القاتل متنفذا فنجان قهوة او فراش عطوة او في اعظم الأحوال منشدا، كما حصل في جريمة قتل نيفين العواودة سابقا . والمتنفذ هنا ليس بالضرورة رجل سلطة مسيطر ، فبحياتنا نحن اسراء كل رجل له من التنفذ ما يجعله صاحب الحق في هدر دمنا وبالتالي التنصل من اي جريمة ، لا بل من جريمة تؤدي الى التخلص من وجودنا. لا تقلق بموضوع اسم نيفين ، فهي كذلك اسراء .

كلنا اسراء عندما يقف القاتل والقتلة أمامنا بكل وقاحة ويأخذون العزاء بِنَا وتدفع لهم دية دمنا .

كلنا اسراء عندما نصبح ممتلكات خاصة لرجل كان ابا او اخا او عما او زوجا او زوج اخت او جارا او عابر طريق يقرر اننا نمثل كرامته المهدورة وشرفه الملعون.يضربنا، يتحرش بِنَا، يغتصبنا، يهتكنا، يهيننا، ويمضي. لانه يعرف أنه محمي بقانون لا يحاسب وعرف يشرع استباحة الأنثى.

سيدي الرئيس ، بينما اصر بانني لا اريد الاستجداء الا انني استحلفك بالله بالتدخل ، فنحن منذ دليل ملقط الحواجب في جريمة نيفين العواودة انحدر حالنا ووصلنا الى اتهام الجن بالضرب والتسبب بالقتل.

الجن يا سيدي الرئيس !!!! نعم كلنا سنكون اسراء وسيركبنا الجن ويضربنا ثم يقتلنا … سيصير كذلك رجالنا اسراء يا سيدي اذا لم تتدخل في هذه الجريمة.

سيدي الرئيس ، قد يبدو كلامي تهكما ، ولكني اريد رجالا في مجتمعنا لا ينتهوا مثلي الى اسراء!

ما يجري من غياب كامل للقانون والفساد المستشري من كل الاتجاهات فينا جعلنا نصل الى هذه المرحلة من الخبل . كيف أوصلونا يا سيادة الرئيس الى هذا الوضع من الانحدار ، صرنا بالفعل في اعماق تصلها الجن.

سيدي الرئيس ، نحن معشر الإناث لا نريد الا ان نتمكن من الحياة ما دامت مكتوبة لنا . لا نريد مساواة ولا نريد أخذ أماكن الرجال. نريد فقط ان نعيش بامان. او بالأحرى نريد ان نعيش .

سيدي الرئيس ، لماذا أوجه رسالتي لك؟ لا بد انك تتساءل . السبب بسيط يا سيدي الرئيس ، فأنت المسؤول عن هذه الجرائم، طالما ان القانون الذي تنفذه السلطات يشرع قتل المرأة بحجة العذر المبيح. فالحقوقيين والمؤسسات النسوية تستجدي وتتمنى وتطالب منذ سنوات باقرار مسودة التعديل على هذا القانون . وكل ما نسمعه هو وجود القانون على مكتبك!والرجال ماضون بقتل النساء ، فاكبر عقاب يذهب فيه الرجل الى السجن لستة اشهر ، والعادي فيه يذهب بفنجان قهوة سادة .

القانون يا سيادة الرئيس هو اساس الحياة الكريمة للمجتمعات . الانهيار الحاصل في مجتمعنا الفلسطيني سببه تفسخ القانون الذي ادى لفقدان الثقة به ، فالقاتل يقتل ويتملص من جريمته ، والمقتول ينتظر ان يكون الضحية التالية.

كلنا اسراء يا سيدي الرئيس … اذا ما تحولنا الى اسراء لن يبقى هناك شعب تحكمه.

سيدي الرئيس ، انت المسؤول عن موت اسراء !

دم اسراء في رقبتك انت قبل ان يكون ذنبها في رقبة من انتهوا الى رمي التراب على كفنها.

أنت المسؤول لانك سمحت ان تمر الجرايم من قبل بلا حساب .

انت المسؤول لانك تركت الفساد يستفحل في النظام من كل الاتجاهات ولم تحاسب فاسد . فأعظم قضية فساد دخلت لجنة تحقيق ولم نسمع أبدا بنتائجها.

انت المسؤول لانك توافق على تعيين قضاة ورؤساء نيابة .

انت المسؤول لانك تعين الوزراء.

انت المسؤول لان كل هؤلاء لا يقومون بعملهم على حسب القانون .

القانون يا سيادة الرئيس صار قانون يلجأ الى تقرير من يخرجون الجن بالرقية الشرعية.

القانون يا سيادة الرئيس ، يترك القاتل طليقا ، والمتحرش مهددا، واسراء الى التراب.

سيدي الرئيس ….

كلنا اسراء